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Essay on “The Hijacking of I.C. 814” Complete Essay for Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

The Hijacking of I.C. 814

The Indian Airlines aircraft 814 took off at 4.25 p.m. on Friday dated 24-12-1999 form Tribhun Das Airport, Kathmandu, with 178 passengers and crew of 11. Soon after five men  announced that the plane was in their control. No one would hurt if the passengers followed the given directions. Passengers  were told to keep their heads down and not talk to each other. The hijackers stabbed two passengers to create an atmosphere of terror. All the males were blind folded. When aircraft was refused permission to land at Lahore, it reached Amritsar for refueling. The plane took off from Amritsar without refueling when it was allowed to land at Lahore. Then the plane started  for Kabul and landing Dubai came to Kandhar. It is a city of Afghanistan under the control of the Taliban authorities.  

The Taliban representative at the U.N. told a private T.V. channel that an Indian official team was welcome to Kandhar if it came under the United Nations flag. The Taliban authorities it came under the United Nations  to send a monitoring team to  Afghanistan so that they should not be blamed for any possible event. A commando operation was not possible because the Taliban had refused to co-operate.

When the hijacking crisis was over on Dec. 31, 1999, the hostages had returned, there was a wide spread relief. But security experts, defense analysts and  diplomats cautioned that many mistakes were committed in the handling of the hijack. The episode demonstrated how India was unable to react quickly when faced with a crisis. It was the same over Kargil. It took them a week to wake  up to the reality.

Jaswant Singh’s eagerness to go to Afghanistan compromised India’s prestige because it seemed as though a Cabinet Minister was escorting terrorists. The security services had been complaining that the terrorists were using Kathmandu route to enter India for over a decade but the government had  neither taken a tough stand with the Nepalese authorities over the increasing 151 presence in Nepal nor introduced passports for air travelers between India and Nepal. This hijacking was the 13th episode of its kind since 1971 but no sky- marshals were deployed in all hijack – prone sectors.

AIR Traffic control was informed at 4.56 p.m. that I.C. 814 had been hijacked. But it was a strange that no senior officer could be found to talk to hijackers or relay instructions to the pilot till the aircraft landed at Lahore at 8.07 p.m.

Moreover evidence coming to light had proved that the hijackers were actually re-armed at Kandhar by the Taliban. There was no doubt that Afghan authorities were helping the hijackers. We should not forget that we are dealing with Muslim fundamentalist terrorists who have the backing of Pakistan and the Taliban government of Afghanistan. It is a pity- the government accepted the demand of the hijackers. If those responsible for terrorism are released under pressure from the same terrorist group, it makes a question mark how can we solve the problem of terrorism?

It is wrong to assume that the elected representatives have competence in everything that they do because they have been elected. The entire drama had been on account of  lack of consultation and trust. Our armed forces would have performed their duty at Amritsar if they were authorized and informed at proper time to take action.

The government has justified the release of the three terrorists to end the hijack crisis by saying that it had reduced the number of terrorists from 35 to 3. Other plea is “if four militants could be released in exchange of the daughter of the then Home Minister in December 1989, then there is nothing wrong in releasing three militants for 160 hostages.” But the Government forgets that it is not the number but the principle involved which is important – whether one should buckle down to such terrorist blackmailing. It will be a sign of being a soft state and encouraging the terrorist.

Home Minister L.K. Advani told newspersons at an Iftar party- “No body would relish the idea of freeing three hardcore militants a trade –off but the trying circumstances left the government with no other option.” Responding to criticism about compromising national security by releasing the militants, he remarked that If something had happened to the hostage, “ the same critics would have torn us to pieces.”


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